3D printing approaches atomic dimensions

In recent years 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has established itself as a promising new manufacturing process for a wide variety of components. Dr. Dmitry Momotenko, a chemist at the University of Oldenburg, has now succeeded in fabricating ultrasmall metal objects using a new 3D printing technique. In a paper published together with a team of researchers from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in the scientific journal Nano Letters, he reports that the technique has potential applications in microelectronics, sensor technology and battery technology. The team has developed an electrochemical technique that can be used to make objects out of copper just 25 billionths of a meter (equivalent to 25 nanometres) in diameter. For comparison, a human hair is about 3000 times thicker than the filigree nanostructures.

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